I manage a fitness center for one of the biggest brands in Switzerland. My prediction for January: We will have more than 130 new members that will join our facility. This is nearly 100.000 dollar revenue – in a single month.
January is the most lucrative month for fitness centers. A lot of the people start a gym membership, because they want to completely redefine themselves. “New Year – New Me!”, they will post on social media. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. More than 90% of these people will quit after three months of going to the gym. We call them the no-shows.
This is not the ideal situation, neither for the person that is going to the gym or the gym itself. I remember my previous boss telling me: “Florian, the no-shows are not your ideal customers. Gyms will always need them to make money. But the people that are training frequently, reach success and then enthusiastically tell their friends about it – these are our true value customers!”
My previous boss had many flaws, but in this aspect he was right. Here are 3 tips that will help you stay training, for months to come.
1. Set Good Goals
Most of the time when clients come into our facility, they haven’t set proper goals. Whenever we fill out the evaluation-form, they write down that they simply want to “lose weight” or “gain muscle”. These two statements are wishes, not goals.
Realistic goals follow the SMART-rule. Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Losing weight is not a goal, losing 5 kilograms of body weight in the next two months is.
I want to stress out the realistic aspect of the goal-setting. Start really small. Having big goals will only frustrate you in the long run. Read about it on forums and then determine what is reasonable. Change one behaviour at a time. Make it sustainable.
Also make sure that you will write your goal down. There’s magic behind a written goal. You will be far more likely to stick to it, if your goal is engrained in paper. Remind yourself of your goals daily – write them on a post-it note and put them on your fridge.
2. Find Accountability
Writing your goals down and putting them on your fridge also have the benefits of creating accountability within your family. Your family will support you and ask you how your journey is going. This makes you more likely to stick to your goals.
Have you ever wondered why gyms have group fitness classes? It’s because having a Group Fitness class helps people foster personal relationships. And relationships within the gym increase the chances of the person renewing his membership. The people that train with a friend will generally train more often and harder. They are more likely to reach their goals.
Ask a friend to go with you on this fitness journey. Post your goal on Facebook and create accountability. Use accountability to your advantage.
3. Learn To Deal With Setbacks
The line to your goals won’t be straight. The sooner you accept this and learn to deal with it – the better.
The diet that you will start doing will not always be clean. The workouts that you will be doing are not always amazing. Don’t beat yourself up about it. These setbacks are simply one of the keys of the game that we all have to play. Accept the setback and immediately move on.
Ten years from now, the people that have learned to deal with setbacks will be the people that are blessed with amazing lives. Angela Duckworth wrote a book on perseverance called Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. Regarding the 770-5 star reviews, it’s definitely a book worth reading.
Quitting Makes Nothing Better
I am not a believer in the never quit – mentality. Sometimes it definitely is a reasonable choice to do so. No one would argue, that quitting smoking is a bad thing to do. Quitting can be a reasonable thing – but not in the gym.
Remember that you’ve started going to the gym because you had a big need to fill. You wanted to get in better shape or get healthier. Let me tell you two things: 1. The gym works and 2. Getting in shape is definitely worth it.
It’s a good thing to be able to go to the beach, shirtless, with a chiseled midsection. Smiling, when your friends ask you: “How did you do this?”.
It feels amazing to wake up with energy and walk with confidence through life. These are feelings worth fighting – or should I say: training – for. Stick to your new years resolutions, a great life is waiting for you.